Guide: Find a Job on Svalbard, Norway’s Remote Arctic Island

Many people dream of having a unique arctic adventure, and where’s better than the Norwegian island Svalbard? This remote arctic island is home to a large city, gets thousands of tourists yearly, and does not require a work visa for you to get a job there.

But here’s the hurdle; you need to find a job if you want to work on Svalbard (duh!). But what’s the best way to find a job on Svalbard?

Most job vacancies on Svalbard are posted on the job board for Svalbard on Finn.no, but there are also a few other places that list job vacancies on the arctic island.

Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen is the only inhabited city on Svalbard. Photo published with permission.

Finding job vacancies on Svalbard

Over 90 % of all job vacancies on Svalbard are listed on Finn.no. This is the main website for finding jobs in Norway, and finding a job on Svalbard is pretty much exactly the same as for mainland Norway.

Here’s for to find job vacancies on Svalbard on Finn.no:

  1. Head to Finn.no’s main website.
  2. Click on “Jobb“.
  3. Click on “Ledige stillinger“.
  4. Choose “Svalbard” under the tab called “Område“. Or click here to take a shortcut to it.
  5. Click on the jobs that look interesting.

And that’s pretty much it. Finn.no is unfortunately only available in Norwegian, so you need to put a lot of the information on Google Translate if you don’t understand basic Norwegian.

Once you find a job that might be up your alley, send them your CV and job application letter, and hope they get back to you.

Longyearbyen on Svalbard
Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Photo published with permission.

Other places to look for job vacancies on Svalbard

There are a few other websites where you can look for job vacancies on Svalbard, but these are far less used than Finn.no, so don’t have the highest expectations.

One of the channels to look for jobs on Svalbard is the Facebook group called “Ledige jobber på Svalbard. Most jobs are posted in this group, so make sure to join it to get notified when a new job is available.

Some of Svalbard’s biggest employers also post all vacancies directly on their websites. This includes Hurtigruten Svalbard as well as Svalbard Adventures. It’s honestly not needed to check their websites often seeing as they will also post all positions on Finn.no and the Facebook group mentioned above.

What type of jobs are available on Svalbard?

The most common types of jobs available at Svalbard are tour guides, and people who’s experienced with snowmobiles, dog sledding and arctic adventures are often highly sought after.

But there are also lot of other positions available. Longyearbyen has its own school, kindergarten, hospital and local governmental offices, and all these need people who can work there. And there’s obviously a lot of science research positions, seeing as Longyearbyen and other small towns on Svalbard has research stations.

Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard
Ny-Ålesund on Svalbard is a small research station where the entire town is employed by the university. Photo by Patano / CC BY-SA 3.0.

There are even positions for software engineers, construction workers, accountants, electricians, plumbers and more at Svalbard, so many different people can find work on this island if they’re lucky.

As you can expect, there are also many jobs for sellers at grocery stores and other shops on Svalbard. These tend to be very popular, and are often rare to see offered, so be prepared for a long wait if you dream of being a cashier at a Svalbard grocery store.

Lompen Senteret is a shopping center on Svalbard
Lompen Senteret is a shopping center in Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Photo by Zairon / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Jobs on Svalbard tend to pay very well, paying above a normal Norwegian salary. Combine that with a very low income tax, and you’re going to make a lot of money if you get a job on Svalbard, so it’s a great place to spend a few years to save up some money.

That said, the price level on Svalbard is also rather high, so you need to be a bit careful about your spending habits if you’re wanting to save up money.

Do you need to speak Norwegian to get work on Svalbard?

You don’t strictly need to speak or understand Norwegian to get a job on Svalbard, but it’s going to be very, very difficult to get it without it.

The official language on Svalbard is Norwegian, most workplaces operate using Norwegian, and most positions require you to understand and communicate in Norwegian.

Jobs on Svalbard are generally highly sought after, and the employers can usually choose between many different qualified candidates.

There are some exceptions though, especially for tourist guides. Some guiding companies want guides that can speak German, Chinese, English or other languages to cater for the international tourists they bring on tours.

Coop grocery store (Svalbardbutikken) in Longyearbyen on Svalbard
Coop grocery store (Svalbardbutikken) in Longyearbyen on Svalbard. Photo by Ssu / CC BY-SA 4.0.

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